Monday, 31 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - the first 2013 edition!

So, that was 2012, that was. Today is the last day and 2013 starts tomorrow. Really, this is my first meal plan of the year, especially as I'm not planning to cook tonight so the 2012 kitchen is well and truly closed. The children and I are planning to have a Chinese tonight - hubby will be at work until midnight so won't be partaking. I'm leaving New Year's Day open as well as I'm not really sure what we're doing - we still have family to deliver presents to, so we might be out.

This week is different for a number of reasons. Firstly, a friend who used to live across the road and now lives in Cambodia is coming to stay for a few days. The children are still off school, and husband's shifts are longer than usual. Finally *whispers* it's my birthday on Sunday and we're probably going to go out for lunch then. More normal service WILL be resumed next week. I hope.

Here is the plan, such as it is, for the week.

Monday - Chinese
Tuesday - keeping free
Wednesday - Chilli Marrakech
Thursday - Sausages with cauliflower cheese mash
Friday - Chicken satay with rice (I think!)
Saturday - Crispy cheddar pies
Sunday - I am so not cooking today!

That is us. How is 2013 starting in meals for you? Do tell. And then pop by Mrs M's to check out some other meal plans.

Happy New Year!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - the Christmas 2012 edition!

It's here at last. Hopefully, you're not too stressed by it all. I have everything I need foodwise, the presents are bought and wrapped, and we're all on holiday (although husband worked over the weekend!) 

I've spent so much time planning Christmas Day that the rest of the week is pretty vague, but we will cope. It will mostly be leftovers and I'm not doing a major shop again until later in the week. I'll be near a shop tomorrow afternoon so might wander in to see if there are any bargains. 

We don't cook on Christmas Eve (apart from perhaps some minimal prep or make ahead things for Christmas Day) so we're going out for a curry! In previous years, we've bought Chinese take-away but we end up buying too much which fills the fridge unnecessarily with leftovers. We decided to go for the curry and then discovered our local Chinese is closed over Christmas anyway, so it was obviously meant to be. The later part of the week, husband will be back at work so it will feel like normal days for us, although we might pop out and visit family so this is all rather provisional and subject to change. The only things set in stone is Christmas dinner really. 

Monday (Christmas Eve) - Not cooking
Tuesday (Christmas Day!) - Poached and smoked salmon pate (already made), Four bird roast (in freezer) with pigs in blankets, stuffing balls (in freezer), bread (out of a packet) and cranberry  (made) sauces, roast spuds and roast parsnips (both veg prepped in freezer), broccoli (just needs chopping up today and bagging) and carrots (prepped, blanched and frozen), gravy (already made), followed by chocolate coconut banoffee tart (the main part of making this is today's job)
Wednesday (Boxing Day) - Ham cooked in cola with a maple mustard glaze, with jacket potatoes and salad
Thursday - Turkey/Poultry leftovers (sandwiches or chilli)
Friday - Turkey and ham pie, mash
Saturday - Turkey fajitas (or possibly coronation turkey)
Sunday - Keeping free

As you can see, there is a repeating theme to the week! 

By the way, every year, I try to get people to tweet pix of their Christmas dinner with the hashtag #allthetwimmings Feel free to join in *cough* hint *cough* - it can be photos of your table, any of your courses or preparation. I'm just nosey. I'll try and retweet any that I see. 

And don't forget to tell me what you're having. And if it's there, Mrs M will have the linky for the other Meal Planning Monday entries. 

Happy Christmas! 

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Swagbucks Challenge - Conclusions

So, as promised in my last post, in which I shockingly unsurprisingly revealed I hadn't won the Swagbucks blogger challenge, here are my conclusions about my Swagbucks experience.

Firstly, the referrals work best if they become active users, and are restricted to 1000 per referral. In a way, it's a pyramid because as more people sign up, people further down the chain are going to find it harder and harder to get referrals.

Secondly, the surveys. I wasted quite a lot of time trying to get surveys to work and kept getting thrown out after answering a few questions, with it telling me they had enough people or I didn't fulfill the criteria. Also, some of the surveys wanted you to sign up to them and I have to say that a lot of them had a very spammy feel to them in terms of the sites they were from and how they looked. I got burned by this a few years ago when I started comping and a lot of them just looked to me that they would generate a lot of spam. I therefore found it very time consuming for little reward.

Thirdly, the swagbucks you can earn for searching are not awarded for every search you make. They are assigned at random, a bit like a raffle, and sometimes, you could do tons of searches and not win any swagbucks. Interestingly, searching for "give me some flipping swagbucks" generated some. And it's no Google. I wouldn't mind using it if it actually gave me the results I wanted but sadly, I had to revert to Google a number of times. Potentially getting a few swagbucks - I don't think I won more than a few - doesn't make up for the time wasted entering your search on two different search engines.

My biggest problem, however, is with the special offers. OK, now I know that they would require you to do something, but by far the biggest earners all required you to join gaming or gambling sites, and usually deposit money. In other words, you have to spend money to get Swagbucks. And whilst you could say you have a chance of winning more money, we all know that the chances of that are pretty small or the sites wouldn't exist. It is this that leaves me feeling most uncomfortable about the whole thing. People don't have a lot of money and may get carried away without thinking it through.

I rapidly came to the conclusion that to make your Swagbucks balance really work for you, you need to have a lot of friends who become equally active, and you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time chasing down the various ways of earning more. (I haven't even covered the tasks which require you to check results on Google, which is effectively working for Swagbucks, or the videos to watch, all of which have an ad at the start, and you need to watch 10 before you earn 3 swagbucks). You need to be savvy about which offers you sign up for and decide if they are indeed worth it and exercise a certain amount of caution. If you are a super savvy shopper, you might want to consider whether you are getting the best return from shopping via Swagbucks, or via cashback sites, as the rate of return vary considerably and a cashback site might give a better rate, especially when you consider that Swagbucks are a virtual currency and when you convert to freebies, you'll get substantially less as you need 849 points to get a £5 gift card.

I have to be honest with you, I'm not sure if I can recommend my Swagbucks experience to you. It feels like, to me anyway, that it's great for those who are into extreme money-saving and have the time to devote to it. I am neither of those things, I like to see results faster than Swagbucks offered me and a little less effort, and so it's not for me.You also need to be super-careful that some of the fastest ways to earn Swagbucks are not costing you more than you would gain in converting your Swagbucks to stuff. So, that free stuff might turn out to be not quite so free after all.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Swagbucks Challenge - the results

Well, you may remember my previous posts about this. I was taking part in a blogger challenge to see how many Swagbucks I could accumulate in three weeks.

At first view, it seemed good.

On second view, it seemed harder - lots of people signed up which would earn me Swagbucks when they earned their points. However, no-one earned any points for me so that avenue proved fruitless.

But no. There are other ways - shopping (whoops, I'd already done most of it), special offers, taking surveys, searching. That would seem great but there lies a very slow way of earning Swagbucks as you generally earn a couple of points at a time. My progress was very slow indeed.

Needless to say, I haven't won the challenge. I did better than some but nothing like as well as others. To be honest, I didn't really have the time that you need to devote to earning Swagbucks at a decent rate.

Still, I have a reasonable stash which I will turn into something useful.

In a day or two, I will blog my conclusions on Swagbucks and whether I will continue to use it in future.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Edible presents for teachers

We do presents for teachers at Christmas. I don't like doing the same as everyone else so we normally make things. This year, I decided to put together a number of edible presents as I'm normally making some for family.

I started in September by doing some damson vodka. I had some damsons in my freezer which I'd been given by a friend about a year ago so decided I needed to do something. I googled around and hit on a recipe that meant I could fill large Le Parfait jars. The third one was a bit light on damsons so I added a vanilla pod. It was basically a bottle of vodka, sugar (anywhere between 170g and 350g was mentioned so I went for about 250g) and 1lb damsons in sterilised jars then hid them in my airing cupboard - where it is dark and warm. I turned the jars over daily until the sugar dissolved and tasted it after a month to check if it was sweet enough. Then I bottled it earlier in the week using kitchen roll to filter out any bits. Bottling was actually the hardest thing, because I bought swing top bottles and fitting the tops turned out to be an art form!

Then in late October, I made some baked bean tin Christmas cakes - lining the tins took us ages! They've been maturing in tins ever since and earlier this week, I marzipanned and covered 4 fully in sugar paste, marzipanned and sugar pasted the tops of another 5, and 3 were baked with an almond decoration. The children did their own design on the tops - Monkey did a Christmas tree with green sugarpaste for his teacher, Missy Woo did stars which I sprayed gold before sticking on. We wrapped a couple of extra cakes for teaching assistants too.

Next, in November, I made some sweet chilli jam. It's quite hot, so I hope it doesn't blow the teachers' heads off!

Then, yesterday, I made some mini mince pies from this recipe so I didn't have to roll out any pastry - everything just got pushed into place with finger and a tart shaper, then I pressed out the rest of the dough and cut out stars for the tops.

I know this all sounds like a lot of faff but everything has been fitted in around everything else. The longest job was lining the cake tins - next year, I have my eye on a mini sandwich tin to cook them all together although I guess I will still need to line them!

Do you make edible presents? What do you like to make?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - the pre-Christmas easy edition!

Yes, the last full week before Christmas. The end of term - not a full week here; the children finish after lunch on Thursday, so this week is full of class parties; definitely more chilled out than last week which was pretty full on with so much on at school, followed by the children going on a sleepover and Christmas treat at their grandparents in Blackpool over the weekend.

Preparations for Christmas continue apace here. Before school finishes, we have the teachers' presents to complete. I'm probably baking every day this week, either on my own or with husband, who develops the urge to bake as Christmas approaches. Today will be my last big supermarket shop before Christmas because most of it is already in the freezer for Christmas Day. I have a pudding to make on Christmas Eve and very little to do on the day, as it should be.

This week has to be fairly easy, with stuff still coming out of the freezer to make room for the Christmas feasting. And here it is.

Monday - Greek lamb and macaroni bake (from last week as this got moved on)
Tuesday - Cashew nut and potato curry
Wednesday - Not cooking as I promised the kids they could have tea out
Thursday - Cowboy corned beef and beans pie
Friday - Chicken and chorizo jambalaya
Saturday - Easy cheesy lentils
Sunday - Rudolph surprise pasta bake (no special recipe but the pasta is reindeer pasta from Ikea!)

So that is ours. What is yours? Do tell me. And don't forget that Mrs M's place is where you can find many more Meal Planning Monday entries.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Aunt Bessie's - great timesaver or the cheat's way?

Aunt Bessie's recently sent me a whole host of things to try and I've gradually been working my way through them. Truth be told, I've got one or two things left to try, as they generously sent me so many different things.

These days, Aunt Bessie's have a massive range of frozen products. We have had quick toad in the holes with boat shaped Yorkshires filled with sausages I cooked separately, Yorkshires on their own with more sausages (the children like them *cough*), apple pie, stuffing balls, even casseroles.

Now, it got me thinking - what is your opinion on using frozen products like this? Are they a fantastic timesaver or are they just cheats which makes people lazy about cooking? I'm torn, I will admit. I use frozen veg all the time, particularly peas and sweetcorn. When I was trying everything, I particularly liked the Yorkshires because my own efforts to make them from scratch are hit and miss - and yes, I know all the rules, it just sometimes doesn't work. In addition, they took a few minutes whereas cooking my own take nearly half an hour. That means if you were doing a roast and space in your oven is at a premium - as it is in our house - you could pop them in whilst you were carving your joint. Stuffing balls, however, felt like a huge cheat - mixing up stuffing mix and rolling them into balls takes seconds and is hardly complicated or lengthy. In addition, when we tried them, husband and I felt they were a bit gloopy although the children loved them.

Then we tried the apple pie. Now, pastry is not my strong suit so I wouldn't think twice about buying shop bought pastry so as not to have to do the rubbing in, kneading, resting, rolling out, and so forth. I can live with that. If you wanted a weeknight pudding, the apple pie is great. But gravy? Hmm, not sure. Especially as I've just made my own gravy for Christmas Day and stuck it in the very same freezer. I guess it's not a massive step away from gravy granules.

Sadly, the one thing they didn't send me was some of their famous roasties. This was a shame because I can't get my head around the fact that frozen roast potatoes could make a better roastie than home made ones from fresh potatoes. It might just save on the peeling, I guess.

Another product I really liked was the homestyle casserole. Cheat, yes, but a massive timesaver. They are a bag of beef or chicken with chopped vegetables and seasonings - saving on all that chopping and prep is bound to be bonus. To cook them, you place the contents in a dish with some water and put in the oven. I cooked mine in a slow cooker and it took me literally seconds to get the dish on and cooking. It tasted nice but the downsides were that a) the pack only serves 2 so not as good for families and b) even then, the portions were a little light and I had to add some frozen veg near the end to bulk it out.

I think in the end, I came to this decision - a cheat's a cheat, but it's not always a bad thing. Most of Aunt Bessie's products are normally eaten alongside other things you've cooked yourself. It's there to make your life a bit easier and save you a bit of time. One man's meat is another man's poison - I bet there is someone reading this thinking, "I can't make roasties to save my life but I'm not sure about using frozen Yorkshires". If it saves you stress, especially when you are doing a roast (or Christmas dinner, keeping it topical), then surely, that has to be a good thing, yes?

Feel free to tell me your opinions.

(Aunt Bessie's sent me a range of their frozen products to try, for which our stomachs are truly grateful.)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The organiser

Yesterday was the occasion of the children's Christmas show. Well, it was the first one of three. We got tickets to go to the afternoon performances so that my husband could make it as the evening performances fall during his normal working hours.

It was a lovely show, with each of the year groups doing their own piece. Monkey had a speaking part in his class's play and did fantastically. Missy Woo was one of the narrators for Reception's class play because she is a good reader and has a lovely clear voice. She was back on straight away, singing songs with the rest of her class (Year 2), and they did a fantastic job of entertaining the audience.

However, one small thing stood out for me. At the end of their performance, they stood for a while on the stage to allow parents the chance to take photos, then the teacher led the children off the stage. Now, they'd obviously practised walking on and off the stage and who walked with who, but after about half of the children had left the stage, the procession stalled and the children just stood there looking a bit lost for a second, trying to work out who was next and not wanting to mess it up.

Then I saw Missy Woo silently take control of the situation. Glancing around, she caught the eye of who she thought was meant to be leaving next and directed them by gesticulating towards the exit with her index finger whilst keeping her hands by her side. The other children did as they were directed, apparently relieved that someone knew what to do, and left in the order she determined as their eyes collectively moved to her face to see where she was looking. She continued to look and point her fingers, rather like a policeman directing traffic or a conductor of an orchestra but with her arms glued to her sides until it was her turn to leave the stage, near enough the last to leave.

Little moments like this make me smile, and this one was vintage Missy Woo - quietly going about something in a way that might not be noticed but with a firm determination. She didn't do it bossily; she saw it could go wrong as the teacher had already gone and she wanted to help the others do it right. The other children obviously trusted her, which was quite sweet. I was most impressed with the way she thought on her feet - literally.

I always said she'd be running the classroom when she went to school. Seems like I was right. Any resemblance to me is purely coincidental, of course. *cough*

Monday, 10 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - the busy nearly Christmas week edition

Well, that's the only way I can think of to describe it. It's not quite Christmas but there are plenty of Christmas things going on. The children have their school show this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, we're going in to hear Monkey's class play their ukuleles (yes, really!) on Wednesday morning, the children are off to have a sleepover at Granny and Granddad's and going to a pantomime (oh no they're not!), leaving us to have some child free time, possibly to go to Manchester for the Christmas markets. Oh, and the husband has an appointment to be Father Christmas for a group of babies and small children.

It's nothing special - easy or quick things mostly. Still using some things from the freezer, trying to keep some things lighter in advance of the rich food that is to come in the weeks to come.

Here, then, is our week.

Monday - Bean chilli with baked sweet potatoes
Tuesday - Sausage and bean cobbler (from the freezer!)
Wednesday - Cauliflower cheese soup
Thursday - Honey and lemon chicken
Friday - Pizza? Or maybe fishfingers?
Saturday - not cooking
Sunday - Greek lamb and macaroni bake

So that's us, what about you? Do you like my meal plan? What are you having this week? Mrs M host the linky with all the other Meal Planning Monday entries. Don't forget to check them out!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas cupcakes from Pryces

I may like making cake but I'm really rubbish at making them look fab. This is why I don't like making cupcakes that much. The children however love them. So, if we're offered cupcakes to try, I am not going to say no.

Pryces offered us just that. A husband and wife run business, they are very local to us, being just down the motorway at Walkden, and they only hand deliver cupcakes to Manchester (M), Bolton (BL), and Preston/Chorley (PR) postcodes. And when I mean hand deliver, Joanne turned up smiling on my doorstep one lunchtime with my little box of cakes. Lucky for her that she also lives in Chorley.

This is our box. It also comes with a handmade card, but that seems not to have made it into the picture. Oops.

Obviously, at this time of year, they had sent Christmas cupcakes to try. Here's a better picture of the cupcakes once the box was opened.

Beautiful - something I should aspire to, but never quite achieve! Everything is handmade by their staff.

So, we had three flavours - the ones on the left are vanilla with vanilla frosting, in the middle are fruit cake cupcakes with a glace icing on top like little Christmas cakes, and on the right, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Well, it was a tough job but we tried them all. My favourite was the chocolate cupcakes but they were VERY chocolatey and rich. The children couldn't finish them (unusual for them!) so that's the only way I got a taste. The fruit cake cupcakes were Monkey's favourite and Missy Woo liked the vanilla ones best and not just for the glitter sprinkles on top. A box of six costs £9.99 (£1.66 each) which is really good value.

Having had a quick squizz at their site, I noticed they also sell other baked goods that can be sent further afield. Hampers, baked goods, cake accessories and cake decorations - even bake it yourself mixes -  are all available if you want to give them a go but if you're in the area, definitely try their gorgeous cupcakes.

(I was sent a box of six cupcakes to try. All opinions are my own. )

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Do you get enough fibre in your diet?

Being around in the 1980s as I was, I remember the F-plan diet that was all the rage when I was a teenager. It extolled the virtues of adding more fibre to your diet and used it as part of a healthy eating plan that would help to keep you full for longer and therefore consume less calories.

I can't remember if I started eating wholemeal bread as a result of that book but I definitely didn't follow the diet. However, I did start to eat wholemeal bread in the eighties and discovered I liked it. In fact, I preferred it to white bread and still do by and large. We also eat beans and pulses fairly regularly, along with wholemeal pasta and brown rice.

This places us in a very small group of people because apparently, 90% of women don't regularly eat their GDA of fibre. I bet most of you don't even know what it is. It's 24g of fibre a day, which doesn't sound a lot, does it? We need fibre in our diets to promote a healthy digestive system and soluble fibre helps to keep your cholesterol levels down. And yes, it does help you to feel less hungry.

Recently, Warburtons asked me to take part in a three day analysis of our diets to see if we really do get enough fibre in our diet. Eek! I recorded a food diary for myself and Missy Woo for those three days and it was sent off to nutritionist Fiona Hunter to analyse. Her verdict was that we were both bang on target (The GDA for children aged 5 to 10 years is 15g by the way) and that my diet was a good balance of soluble fibre - in peas and oats - and insoluble fibre, mainly found in bread. That puts me in the 10% of women that does eat enough fibre. Nice to know that we are eating a fairly healthy diet in that respect - although I don't think we hit our target every single day but most of the time, which is good enough for me. I think we just got lucky that week.

Spicy bean burgers if you make them right!
Warburtons sent me out some products that help to boost the fibre in your diet, including Half and Half Toastie which the children like. They happily eat wholemeal but they like to eat white bread too - in fact, they stayed at their grandparents once and managed to convince them that they only ate white bread, so poor old Granddad had to go to the shop to buy some! Little monkeys. So a half and half bread - which looks white but has more fibre in it - is a good compromise. My favourite was the seeded batch but then I love seeds on my bread anyway.

They also sent me some fibre rich recipes, including one for spicy bean burgers which I royally messed up - I think I over-processed the beans and they went all gloopy. As I said though, I make dishes containing beans and pulses quite regularly - try this chilli, this soup or this dish from my own archives to help you boost your fibre intake without feeling like you're chewing on cardboard.

If you want to increase the fibre in your diet, Warburtons passed on some tips from Dr Hilary Jones about how to do it.

  • increase fibre slowly, adding no more than 5g per day until you reach your GDA. Personally, I'd increase it by 5g for a few days, then increase it again if you need to. 
  • drink more water as you increase your fibre intake. (Psst.. this helps prevent you getting "blocked" up!)
  • eat whole fruit and vegetable, as the skin contains fibre - like potato skins, apple peel etc. It's also better to eat whole fruits than juices or smoothies.
  • aim for 3 portions each day, so spread your fibre intake over three meals. How about healthy snacks like fruit, oatcakes, or some wholemeal toast? Eating wholemeal bread, pasta or rice would all increase your fibre intake without having to change your diet radically.
So, my question to you is - do you eat enough fibre and is eating enough of it a priority? Do you know how much you eat a day and does it meet the guideline amounts? Leave a comment below - and feel free to ask questions.

(Warburtons sent me a £20 voucher to try out some of their recipes and a selection of bread with higher fibre content. They also arranged for our food diary to be analysed by Fiona Hunter free of charge)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

All aboard the Polar Express!

On Sunday, we took a little trip over the tops to Yorkshire to the National Media Museum in Bradford for a very special event. The children were excited but the person most excited of all was my husband. Because we were going to see The Polar Express. In 3D. In IMAX 3D.

The Polar Express is one of his Christmas traditions. He has two films he likes to watch every Christmas (the other being It's a Wonderful Life) and since the children were little, he's sat them down with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve and made them watch it. Luckily, they share his love of the film.

When we were first invited, we weren't sure if we would be able to make it. We worked out that there was only one date that we could all make to see the film before it finishes showing on 12th December. Luckily, at the very last minute, we were able to arrange to go to the screening after a little bit of juggling, although it meant getting there not long before the filming, leaving us very little time to look around the museum itself.

The only thing that really annoyed me about the day was the queueing system for the cinema - we queued up some stairs, went round up some stairs, long down some stairs and virtually back where we started. The queueing took so long that we didn't have a lot of time before the showing.  However, we found seats together although there is not a lot of legroom for adults, as the cinema is quite steep.

An IMAX screen is much bigger and has a higher resolution than a standard screen - it's about the size of five storeys. Making it 3D is the next step but of course that means you need to wear the sexy glasses which were handed out at the door. I couldn't answer for how different it looked because I'd never seen it all the way through before (I normally use it as an excuse to get some stuff done or have some peace!) but the 3D effects were great - so much so that Missy Woo kept putting her hand out to touch things.

If you don't know the story, a young boy is trying to stay awake on Christmas Eve to see Father Christmas. Instead, a steam train turns up to take him and other children to the North Pole to see the great man himself. The story is CGI animation fantasy and in 3D, it's just enchanting. Some of the angles had me closing my eyes, especially the part where they go down Glacier Gulch. My husband always tells the story of the time we went to the Hemisferic (a domed IMAX cinema) in Valencia whilst pregnant with Monkey and I actually felt sick during and after the film for about 20 minutes so I was trying to avoid the repetition. The effects are amazing although occasionally, the picture looked a bit blurry to me but that might have been the angle I was sat at. The story however really does come out of the screen! Even though everyone knew the story, we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

I somehow think that, despite the fact that we are getting a new telly (not 3D) for Christmas, that this year's Christmas Eve viewing of The Polar Express will not be quite the same!

(Thanks to the National Media Museum for giving us 4 tickets to see The Polar Express in their IMAX cinema. You can see The Polar Express there until 12th December.)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - the December comfort food edition!

As we edge towards Christmas, I have that unerring feeling that I need to get more done than I already have. This week, the cards will get written and posted and family presents will get wrapped ready to send down to my mother, who hopefully will be coming out of hospital very soon.

I'm still trying my best to use up the freezer whilst remaining conscious that I am actually filling it fast with Christmas goodies. As much as possible is going in there this year in the run up to the big day with as much prep spread over the weeks beforehand so the last few days before Christmas can be enjoyed.

I put together this plan and looked back at it and it struck me that this was all just comfort food! I guess that's no bad thing at this time of year with dark evenings and cold weather. On Tuesday, Monkey has a friend coming to tea who requested burgers and Friday is the school fair, which husband will be heavily involved in so it's likely to be hot dogs there or butties.

Monday - Mini meatloaves with jackets and veg
Tuesday - Burger, chips and salad
Wednesday - Slow cooker rice supper (based on this)
Thursday - Sausages with yorkshires and mash
Friday - keeping free
Saturday - Corned beef hash with egg
Sunday - Indonesian curried pork with coconut rice

Is your menu all comfort food now? Do tell. And then, when you've done that, hop on over to Mrs M's to see what everyone else has got planned.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Swagbucks - Limping along

Since I last posted, it's been a busy week. I've been busy getting ready for Christmas, I went to a wedding Friday and I found out on Thursday that my mum has been rushed to hospital after developing a severe bout of norovirus that has affected her heart such that she has fluid on her lungs and that's giving her breathing difficulties. Combined with the usual busy lifestyle that we all lead - with the children who have the proper social life, I just chase after them - these things have all conspired to combine to mean I haven't progressed as much as I would like to get earning more Swagbucks. I have actually got over 5,500 swagbucks after I won a few swagbucks doing their searches, and signing up to a few offers.

I have had no referral points though - if you have kindly signed up using my referral link here, (or have just done so, in which case, thank you!) please note that in order for me to earn points, then you do too so please get searching, shopping and watching videos. I have watched a few videos to earn more Swagbucks, but since then, I haven't had the time to spend time watching them. I tried doing a few surveys but everyone I tried was full and didn't need me so I'm guessing you have to be quick or find a better/different way of earning your swagbucks.

Like I said, I've been busy so I'm limping along. If you'd care to help me, the best way is to sign up using my referral link and start earning yourself.

Go on, you know you want to.

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